Sunday, January 25, 2015

Mariupol Shelling: Kiev's Latest False Flag?

Mariupol Shelling: Kiev's Latest False Flag?

by Stephen Lendman

Previous Kiev false flag attacks suggest Saturday's Mariupol shelling perhaps its latest. It remains to be seen what further evidence discloses.

Throughout months of fighting, Kiev sought to blame Donbas self-defense forces for its crimes of war and against humanity. 

Including gruesome atrocities. Use of cluster bombs, chemical and other illegal weapons. Downing MH17. 

Systematic shelling of residential and other non-military areas. Recent Volnovakha and Donetsk bus attacks. Willfully murdering civilian men, women and children.

On Saturday, shelling killed a reported 30 people in Mariupol. Rebels and Kiev exchanged blame.

A Donetsk region state administration statement said:

"A total of 23 people, including one child, died instantly. Ninety-three people, including eight children, were hurt." 

"Seventy-five people were taken to hospitals. Seven, including one child, died of wounds in hospital."

A rebel spokesman said "(o)ur militias have no weapon systems near Mariupol that would be able to shell that region. Our positions are simply too far away."

"According to our intelligence, the artillery was fired from the Stariy Krim neighborhood (less than 10 kilometers from central Mariupol)."

"Ukrainian troops are stationed there. We believe it was a provocation committed by the Ukrainian troops."

Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) deputy parliamentary speaker Denis Pushilin called the incident "yet another (Kiev) provocation."

Saying "(i)t is all clear who shelled Mariupol: from which regions they are, from which spot and where the artillery was located." 

"As far as I know, Grad multiple rocket launcher" fire was responsible. "Our militia units don't have artillery capable of reaching the location of the shelling."

Pushilin blamed Kiev for "doing everything possible" to suspend peace talks.

"How can we make agreements with people that aren't responsible either for their words, or signatures and have clearly showed their incapability to reach agreements,"

"They agree to meet in Minsk, but they don't come.” Earlier they accepted Minisk ceasefire protocol terms. 

Then violated them straightaway. Rejecting peace. Continuing conflict.

DPR military commander Eduard Basurin said militia forces have no current operations in Mariupol.

Tass reported DPR Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko saying "(n)o one is going to attack the city. We are not beasts as they in Kiev."

"We have conducted no active combat operations near Mariupol until today." 

"But now, after Kiev decided to place responsibility for erroneous fire from its Grads from Berdyanskogo on Mariupol's living quarters, I ordered to suppress the positions of Ukrainian troops east of Mariupol."

Kiev sent additional forces to Mariupol, said Zakharchenko. A strategically located Azov Sea port city in the southern Donetsk Oblast region. Its population around half a million.

"Our positions near Novoazovsk are shelled round-the-clock from Grad multiple rocket systems and large-calibre artillery," said Zakharchenko. 

"Today, the 28th Ukrainian brigade was reinforced by armoured vehicles. It is being done to force us swing our forces to Mariupol from the Donetsk airport in a bid to drive us out of it."

Zakharchenko accused Kiev forces of using Mariupol residents as human shields. "They are our people," he stressed.

Western propaganda is relentless. Including disinformation on:

  • US planned and implemented Maidan violence;

  • last February's US-instigated coup;

  • installing an illegitimate putschist regime controlled by neo-Nazi thugs; 

  • sham elections; and

  • continuing Kiev aggression on Donbas. 

John Kerry responded to Mariupol's shelling as expected. Automatically blaming "Russia-backed separatists."

Calling Mariupol "a peaceful city." Ignoring Kiev's military attacking it with Grad rockets.

Kerry's bluster and Big Lies wore thin long ago. Outrageously blaming rebels for "publicly glorifying (Mariupol's incident) and other offensives in blatant violation of the Minsk agreements they signed."

Calling Saturday's attack a "horrific assault by Russia-backed separatists."

Fact: Donbas freedom fighters scrupulously observed Minsk protocol ceasefire terms.

Fact: Kiev violated them straightaway.

Fact: Rebels responded in self-defense. Their international law guaranteed right.

Fact: Kerry consistently and diabolically blames them for Kiev crimes of war and against humanity. 

Fact: Instigated at the behest of Washington. Ukraine's puppet master pulling the strings.

Western media march in lockstep. Propaganda substitutes for hard truths. Russia and Donbas freedom fighters are blamed for Kiev crimes.

The latest misreporting on Saturday's Mariupol shelling. The New York Times blamed rebels. Claiming Zakharchenko said "(w)e began our attack on Mariupol."

His above quote explained no offensive rebel attacks until Kiev shelling the area demanded a response.

The Times claimed rebels have "new tanks and other heavy weapons from Russia." No evidence whatever proves it.

The Washington Post claimed rebels "snub(bed) truce bids." Ignoring their consistent support for peaceful conflict resolution throughout months of conflict.

Zakharchenko on Saturday calling Minsk dead in response to repeated Kiev violations. 

Western media irresponsibly accused Russia of blocking a US-backed Security Council resolution on developments in Mariupol.

Tass reported disagreement on text language. Because Britain's delegation "insisted that the Council discuss separate statements made by the militias."

Russia said they "made various statements" on Saturday. "…Western (SC) member states…refus(ed) throughout the conflict to denounce any statements and actions (often very aggressive) of the Kiev leadership."

Reports suggest Security Council members will continue discussing Ukraine's conflict on Monday. Expect no denunciation of Kiev war crimes forthcoming.

The Wall Street Journal accused rebels of Saturday's Mariupol incident. Calling it "a potentially dangerous escalation in the fighting in eastern Ukraine."

Consistently ignoring Kiev's aggression throughout months of conflict. UK media misreport on Ukraine like their US counterparts. Managed news misinformation substitutes for hard truths.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini irresponsibly blamed Moscow for escalated fighting.

Saying it'll "inevitably lead to a further grave deterioration of relations between the EU and Russia."

Neo-Nazi Kiev security/national defense council head Oleksandr Turchynov lied calling Saturday's incident "another bloody crime against humanity committed by the Russian military and the bands of terrorists under their complete control."

Ignoring horrific war crimes and atrocities committed by Ukrainian forces throughout months of conflict. 

Western media consistently suppress them. Blaming victims for Kiev crimes too grave to ignore.

Fort Russ said US European commander General Ben Hodges "awarded medals to Ukrainian soldiers for genocide."

It reported at least one "uniformed, armed American caught on camera in Mariupol."

"Who is this individual," it asked? "A US white supremacist acquiring skills for the inevitable RAHOWA back home?" 

A Blackwater/Academi mercenary? US military advisor? US special operations soldier?"

A previous article said highly trained US killer special forces operate in scores of countries worldwide. In over 150 during the past three years.

For sure in Ukraine. Infesting Donbas. Involved in Kiev's aggression. 

Along with US supported mercenaries like Blackwater USA (now Academi) there for the same purpose.

Kiev deplores peace. Vows to crush Donbas resistance. Intense fighting continues. No end of conflict looms.

Key is whether Washington intends getting US combat troops involved. 

Deploying them to Ukraine for so-called training exercises suggests perhaps something else may be planned. It remains to be seen what follows.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Lunatics Run the Washington Asylum

Lunatics Run the Washington Asylum

by Stephen Lendman

Never in world history has one nation threatened humanity's survival like America. Wars without end rage. 

Against invented enemies. New ones follow with disturbing regularity. Peace is pure fantasy.

Obama wants congressional authorization for unconstrained war. Ignoring international law. Claiming it's to fight IS. One of his many Big Lies. 

A companion article suggests Pentagon officials now direct Kiev's war on Donbas. Besides supplying its military with heavy weapons and munitions covertly.

So-called joint US/Ukrainian training operations may be prelude to direct American intervention. 

With Pentagon forces on the front lines. Waging war close to Russia's border. One major false flag away from potential US/Russian conflict.

Scores more US special forces are heading to train so-called anti-Assad moderate rebels. Elements aiming to topple governments by brute force aren't moderates.

IS and other Takfiri extremists comprise Obama's proxy anti-Syrian army. CIA operatives and US special forces train them in the fine art of killing. Including lopping off heads.

US special forces operate in up to 150 countries worldwide. Not as good will ambassadors. Nor CIA elements. 

Operating everywhere out of US embassies and consulates, as well as through front organizations.

According to Tom Dispatch's Nick Turse, US special forces operated in 133 countries during the fiscal year ending September 30, 2014.

Citing US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Lt. Col. Robert Bockholt as his source. Over the past three years, US special forces operated in over 150 countries, said Turse.

Missions "rang(e) from kill/capture night raids to training exercises." The vast majority of Americans know nothing about Washington's covert global war.

"(H)idden from external oversight or press scrutiny," said Turse. Highly trained killers operate with their counterparts in scores of countries worldwide.

Maintain close ties to Washington's intelligence establishment. Their counterparts abroad. Their mission is to advance America's imperium.

Destabilize independent governments. Ones targeted for regime change. By coups, targeted assassinations or wars.

Washington's public face belies its pure evil. At home and abroad. Ruthlessly pursuing policies likely to make lesser despots blush.

America alone wages war on humanity. Using weapons of mass destruction. Including chemical, biological and radiological ones.

Other banned weapons. New ones tested in real time. Regardless of the horrors they cause.

US domestic and foreign policy is polar opposite what's acceptable in free societies. Bipartisan criminals run things. Lunatics.

Media scoundrels support their worst policies. Proliferating managed news misinformation. Suppressing hard truths.

Ignoring irresponsible US officials bashing legitimate news, information and analysis sources like RT International.

Including John Kerry last April disgracefully calling it a "propaganda bullhorn…(D)eployed to promote President Putin's fantasy about what is playing out on the ground."

Kerry's bluster and Big Lies wore thin long ago. Newly-appointed US Broadcasting Board of Governor's (BBG) head Andrew Lack is RT's latest antagonist.

In charge of Washington's global propaganda machine. Including Voice of America. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Radio Free Asia. Radio and TV Marti aimed at Cuba. Middle East Broadcasting Networks. Spending hundreds of millions of dollars proliferating Big Lies.

Lack telling The New York Times:

"We are facing a number of challenges from entities like Russia Today which is out there pushing a point of view, the Islamic State in the Middle East and groups like Boko Haram."

"But I firmly believe that this agency has a role to play in facing those challenges."

In other words, countering truth and full disclosure with Big Lies. The Times let his accusation pass without challenge. Effectively endorsing it.

Quoting BBG chairman/NBC Universal head Jeffrey Shell calling Lack "the perfect person to head its operations given his background as a journalist who has run several major media organizations."

He's a former CBS news producer. NBC and NBC News president. Sony Music Entertainment chairman. Bloomberg Media Group chairman.

The Times saying he "takes over an agency (at a time) rival broadcasters financed by China and Russia have grown."

"Russia Today has a significant American presence." Available 24-hours a day on popular cable channels and online.

Reporting real news and information everyone has a right to know. Opposite of how The Times operates. And other MSM TV and print scoundrels.

In lockstep with Washington. Monied interests controlling things. Suppressing hard truths. 

Featuring disinformation. Big Lies. Supporting wealth, power and privilege. Betraying their readers and viewers.

Instead of challenging Lack's RT bashing, The Times ignored it. Changed topics. Said "(o)ne of his firsts tasks will be improving staff morale."

Federal Office of Personnel Management survey data rank BBG at or near the bottom of best places to work in government.

Maybe because it wants journalists to lie more egregiously than major media scoundrels. Why they don't leave they'll have to explain.

RT justifiably expressed outrage about Lack considering it a threat like IS and Boko Haram. 

Its editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan issued a statement saying "(w)e are extremely outraged that the head of the BNG mentions RT in the same breath as the world's number one terrorist army."

"We see this as an international scandal and demand an explanation."

It wants one from BBG, the State Department and US embassy in Russia.

Last August, BBG chairman Jeffrey Shell said "(l)et's put together a plan of how much that would cost and how to do something that we could compete with Russia Today (RT), and then let's go to the Hill and then let's go to the White House and tell them what it's going to cost to compete, and let's see if we can do it."

In other words, create a more extensive propaganda campaign countering effective hard truths.

Lunatics running things in Washington think this way. Obama for sure. Waging war on humanity from day one in office.

Serving monied interests exclusively. Spurning popular ones. Institutionalizing police state practices beyond what George Bush established.

Eroding freedoms en route to eliminating them altogether. Targeting all independent governments for regime change. 

Advancing America's imperium toward achieving unchallenged global dominance. Risking nuclear war with Russia. Making the unthinkable possible. 

Neocons infest Washington. Lunatics and then some. Deploring peace. Urging escalated war on Syria. Stepped up efforts to oust Assad. 

Wanting Russia confronted more aggressively. Iran bombed preemptively. Replacing so-called Shia Crescent influence with radicalized Sunni hardliners.

Netanyahu's solution is military. He circumvented protocol by arranging through his US ambassador an invitation to address a joint congressional session. 

An unprecedented affront. Typical Netanyahu. Making more enemies than friends. Including among allies.

On March 3, two weeks ahead of Israeli general elections, he’ll address Congress. Linked to AIPAC's annual conference.

Intending to lobby against diplomacy with Iran. Urge increased pressure with more sanctions. 

Ideally confront Tehran militarily. Risk destabilizing the entire region. Netanyahu lies calling Iran an existential threat.

Washington hardliners want regime change. By coup or direct confrontation. In mid-January, Republican Senator Tom Cotton called P5+1 talks a "sham."

"The goal of our policy must be clear - regime change in Iran," he said. "We cannot and will not be safe as long as Islamist despots rule in Iran."

"The credible threat of force only strengthens our other tools of national power - diplomatic, economic, financial."

"(T)he surest way to preserve the peace (is prepare) to do whatever is necessary to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear capabilities."

Cotton urged possible US military action. So do crazies like him. 

When lunatics run the asylum, anything is possible. The worst of all possible outcomes may follow.

Former Congressman Ron Paul noted the "total failure" of US Middle East policy. 

If Washington hadn't waged war on regional countries, "would the world not have been a lot better off," he stressed.

Imagine the worst of outcomes if Washington confronts Russia and/or Iran militarily. All bets are off if lunatics influencing policy get their way.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Pentagon Directing Kiev's War on Donbas?

Pentagon Directing Kiev's War on Donbas?

by Stephen Lendman

Washington relies heavily on allies and proxies to advance its imperial agenda. It actively supports and encourages Kiev's aggression on Donbas.

Funding and arming its military. Supplying heavy weapons and munitions covertly. Assuming a local guerrilla force could easily be defeated. 

Hoped for victory became rout. Earlier last spring and summer. Again a few days after Kiev launched its new offensive last Sunday. More on this below.

A previous article discussed Pentagon plans to deploy US combat troops to Ukraine. For a so-called "training operation." A "first step." Mission creep suggests much more to come. 

On January 23, Rick Rozoff's Stop NATO web site reported US Army Europe commanding Lt. General Ben Hodges in Ukraine meeting with its military/defense officials.

"(A)head of a robust schedule of bilateral and multilateral military partnership exercises and training missions planned for 2015."

Perhaps part of Washington's plan for direct US involvement in Kiev's war on Donbas. Maybe controlling it entirely going forward.

"Everything that happens in this part of the world the US Army in Europe is part of that," said Hodges.

"Its exercises, its relationships, its capabilities, networks and allies, and it is what enables our president to assure allies and deter potential threats."

Hodges called US Army Europe "uniquely positioned…to advance American strategic interests in Europe and Eurasia."

Code language for advancing America's imperium. Through coups and wars of aggression.

Pentagon officials lied claiming Russia directly supports Donbas "separatists."

Air Force spokesman Col. Ed Thomas said Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey is "closely following" reports of (nonexistent) Russian involvement.

"Among the most pressing issues for the group is NATO's planning and readiness to secure its eastern flank," said Thomas. 

"It's been a dominant factor for the alliance since Russian forces entered Crimea."

"Since the September 5th Minsk ceasefire, Russia has funneled hundreds of pieces of Russian military equipment and materiel to Russia-backed separatists, including tanks, armored personnel carriers, and heavy artillery pieces," Thomas claimed.

Despite no evidence whatever proving it. Plenty showing US supplied lethal aid for Ukraine. 

"Russian military forces still operate in eastern Ukraine, where they play a coordinating role and provide command and control support to pro-Russian separatists," Thomas added.

Again citing no verifiable evidence. None exists. At the same time, US-dominated NATO heads precariously closer to direct confrontation with Russia.

NATO's Readiness Action Plan is worrisome. So is its Very High Readiness Joint Task Force.

Increased US-dominated NATO's Eastern European land, air and sea presence. Inventing threats to justify increased aggressiveness.

With considerable scoundrel media support. The New York Times lied claiming "increasing evidence that Russian troops and Russian equipment have been pouring into the region again."

Propaganda substituting for hard evidence. The Times wrongfully blamed Putin for US-instigated Kiev crimes. Accusing him of "doubling down rather than backing down."

"…Russian troops in unmarked uniforms apparently join(ed) the separatists in the assaults on Ukrainian positions," claimed The Times. Citing Kiev and NATO as its source. Known serial liars.

Washington Post editors repeated America's Big Lie. Accusing "Russian forces (of) launch(ing) a new offensive in eastern Ukraine."

Ignoring hard evidence of Kiev's aggression. Donbas freedom fighters respond in self-defense. Nothing suggestsU Moscow's involvement.

Post editors cited Kiev and US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt claiming "fresh Russian army units were crossing the border and attacking Ukrainian positions north of the city of Luhansk and at the Donetsk airport."

Big Lies substitute for hard truths. Post editors irresponsibly bashed Putin. Calling his agenda "fundamentally at odds with Europe's security interests and its values."

Ignored are his all out peace and stability efforts throughout months of conflict. Proposals to end fighting. Resolve things diplomatically.

America and rogue EU allies prioritize naked aggression. Mass slaughter and destruction. Against one country after another.

Ukraine very much in the eye of the storm. Washington bears full responsibility for ongoing conflict. 

So does what Sergey Lavrov calls Kiev's "party of war." Putin gets no credit for trying to resolve things diplomatically. Irresponsible bashing substitutes.

Wall Street Journal editors irresponsibly accused him of "aggression" in Donbas.

Citing "a Ukrainian military spokesman" falsely claiming "Russian forces…opened fire on Ukrainian positions in the rebel-controlled Luhansk region…"

An unnamed OSCE official accused Russia of supplying Donbas self-defense forces with "sophisticated logistic support."

Journal editors ludicrously claimed Putin "wants to re-create Kremlin dominance over Russia's near abroad…" 

No evidence whatever suggests it. Repeating Big Lies often enough gets most people to believe them.

Are Pentagon officials directing Kiev's aggression? Is America calling the shots? Will US forces be involved?

Fort Russ cited a source close to Ukraine's general staff reporting "chaos in Kiev and the turmoil in the country's administration and the army."

Donbas self-defense forces consistently rout Kiev's military. Decisively since last Sunday.

Despite Ukraine's military mobilizing 1,500 tanks and other armored vehicles. Over 50 warplanes and attack helicopters. 

Artillery, radar, communications equipment and other supplies. Much of it US-dominated NATO supplied.

Deploying its war machine along the entire front line over the past few months.

In preparation for full-scale premeditated naked aggression. Using the false flag Volnovakha bus attack as pretext to launch it.

Putin accused Kiev of issuing "criminal orders…to start large-scale military operations practically throughout the whole line of contact." 

"The results of this are many people have died and have been wounded." 

"This has happened not only amongst soldiers from both sides, but even more tragically, amongst innocent civilians, which includes children, pensioners and women."

Peace talks and "political will" alone can end conflict, he stressed. Impossible given Washington's rage for war.

Fort Russ said Ukraine's Colonel-General Muzhenko Muzhenko general staff chief directs ongoing operations. Calling him a "certified dimwit."

Ignoring expert military advice. Relying "on the whims and views" of Ukraine's security service (SBU) head Valentin Nalyvaychenko and others around him.

Under Muzhenko's direction, Kiev forces were routed. Sustaining heavy losses. Men and equipment.

Fort Russ reported Kiev in "full-fledged panic." Suggesting a possible desperation declaration of war on Russia to enlist NATO support.

Novorossiya armed forces (NAF) are "advancing simultaneously in a dozen directions, and control of many parts of the UAF (Ukrainian armed forces) is already lost." 

Fort Russ suggests a Kiev "military disaster in the making. The question is not whether or not (its) front will collapse…(it's) where it will happen first."

SBU head Nalyvaychenko suggested Washington "is preparing to take strategic control of UAF divisions…"

National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine secretary Aleksandr Turchynov said war with Russia is inevitable. 

Warned about declaring martial law. Doing so would end any pretense of rule of law governance. 

None whatever exists. Ruling fascists tolerate none. Former defense minister Valeriy Geletey promised an attack on Russia.

Followed by a Ukrainian "victory parade" in Crimea and Sevastopol. Political analyst Yuri Solozobov called these threats propaganda. Bluffs.

Saying "(m)artial law cannot be applied to a part of a country. (Only) across the entire country…"

Automatically dissolving parliament if instituted, he added. Military power replacing it. Civil authority entirely abolished.  

Attacking Russia is madness. Even through false flag deception. Putin will be free to respond full-force. Defending Russia responsibly against aggression.

Will US-dominated NATO intervene? Washington is already heavily involved. Perhaps preparing to take charge of Ukraine's military.

Suggesting greater escalation of fighting than already. Will America risk war with Russia?

Doing so risks nuclear confrontation. Obama wants new congressional Authorization of the Use of Military Force (AUMF).

Ostensibly to combat IS. De facto US allies. Armed, funded, trained and directed proxy forces. Used against Assad's Syria.

Does Obama want more expansive AUMF authority? Congress hasn't yet acted.

Awaiting White House direction. Draft legislative language. Outlining its intentions. 

Will Obama seek authority for direct US intervention in Ukraine? Congressional permission to respond to alleged Russian aggression?

Perhaps intending a major false as justification to act. A modern-day Gulf of Tonkin. A Ukrainian 9/11.

A mass atrocity greater than recent  Volnovakha and Donetsk bus attacks. Something major enough to enlist widespread popular support.

Obama wants authority to wage war on any nation or group opposing America's imperial agenda.

Will he dangerously escalate Kiev's aggression on Donbas? Will he involve US forces? Will he risk war with Russia?

It bears repeating what other articles stressed. Lunatics in Washington make anything possible. Even WW III. Perhaps only a major false flag away.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Expect Dirty Business as Usual Following Saudi King's Death

Expect Dirty Business as Usual Following Saudi King's Death

by Stephen Lendman

World headlines announced Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz's death. At age 90. After being hospitalized on December 31. Suffering from pneumonia.

His half-brother Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud succeeds him. Aged 79. Reportedly suffering from dementia or Parkinson's disease.

Initially Reuters headlined "New king, same oil policy." Changed to "New Saudi king seen holding the line on OPEC policy to keep oil output high."

The Wall Street Journal headlined "Death of King Unlikely to Alter Saudi Oil Policy."

The Financial Times headlined "Saudi Arabia’s new King Salman bids to reassure markets."

AP headlined "Saudi King Abdullah, a Gradual Modernizer, Dead at 90."

BBC headlined "Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz dies." Saying prior to announcing his death, "Saudi television cut to Koranic verses, which often signifies the passing of a senior royal."

He died on Thursday at 22:00 GMT (5:00 PM New York time).

The Washington Post called him "a wily king who embraced limited reform." The New York Times said he became "a force of moderation."

A litany of praise followed for one of the world's most repressive rulers heading a ruthless regime.

James Petras commented earlier. Calling the Kingdom infested with "all the vices and none of the virtues of an oil rich state like Venezuela."  

"The country is governed by a family dictatorship which tolerates no opposition and severely punishes human rights advocates and political dissidents."

It "finances the most fanatical, retrograde, misogynist version of Islam, “Wahhabi” a sect of Sunni Islam."

Prince Bandar bin Sultan masterminds Saudi's terror network, said Petras. Partnered with high-level "US political, military and intelligence officials."

State terror enforces repressive policies. No opposition is tolerated. Elections when held are farcical.

Ruling family dictatorship thugs run things. Expect no meaningful change under Salman. Repressive business as usual continues.

Human Rights Watch called Abdullah's so-called reforms "largely symbolic." He "failed to secure the fundamental rights of Saudi citizens to free expression, association and assembly."

Obama paid tribute to his "valued" ally. Saying "(t)he closeness and strength of the partnership between our two countries is part of King Abdullah's legacy."

One rogue leader praised another. Obama ludicrously claimed Abdullah "took bold steps" for regional peace.

Rogue leadership best describes him. A longstanding destabilizing influence.

Partnered with Obama's war on Syria. Supporting extremist takfiris against Assad. Supplying them with chemical and other weapons.

Relatively few in number IS beheadings make headlines. Longstanding Saudi practice gets practically no attention.

A rare October 2014 Newsweek article headlined "When It Comes to Beheadings, ISIS Has Nothing Over Saudi Arabia."

America's "closest Arab ally," said Newsweek. Kingdom "decapitations are routine." For "crimes including political dissent."

"(A)nd the international press hardly seems to notice." Dozens of people have "their heads lopped off" annually.

On average, one every four days. Along with other horrendous forms of punishment. Including whippings involving hundreds of lashes. Sometimes 1,000.

Administered about 50 at a time. Too many at once assures extremely painful death.

Newsweek said beheadings occur in public. "People…gather to watch…" British author John R. Bradley calls them the "only form of public entertainment" besides football.

One Saudi executioner, Mohammed Saad al-Beshi, said he beheaded up to seven prisoners a day. Calling it "God's work."

Newsweek's article is the exception proving the rule. Virtually none of this makes Western headlines. Especially in America.

Horrific Saudi crimes aren't reported. Obama turned truth on its head calling US/Saudi ties a "force for stability and security in the Middle East and beyond."

The State Department publishes annual human rights reports on over 190 countries. Its latest in April 2014.

Discussing Kingdom "human rights problems. (I)including torture and other abuses…"

"(O)vercrowding in prisons and detention centers…"

"(H)olding political prisoners and detainees…"

"(D)enial of due process; arbitrary arrest and detention…"

"(A)rbitrary interference with privacy, home, and correspondence."

"Violence against women, trafficking in persons, and discrimination based on gender, religion, sect, race, and ethnicity (remain) common."

"Lack of governmental transparency and access made it difficult to assess the magnitude of many reported human rights problems."

Known abuses include "arbitrary and unlawful deprivation of life." State-sponsored kidnappings and disappearances.

"Torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment."

Horrific prison and detention center treatment. Arbitrary arrests and detentions. "Denial of fair public trial(s)."

No due process or judicial fairness whatever. Thousands of political prisoners with no rights whatever.

"Arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home or correspondence." No human or civil rights whatever allowed.

Saudi "civil law does not protect human rights, including freedom of speech and the press."

Internet freedom is verboten. None whatever exists. Nor academic freedom. Nor free cultural expressions.

Nor free peaceful assembly and association. Nor freedom of religion. Nor freedom of internal movement, foreign travel and repatriation.

Asylum granted only "if public interest so dictates." Refugees and asylum seekers prohibited from legally seeking work.

Or have access to education, healthcare, public housing, legal services or other social ones.

Significant numbers of Saudi residents are legally stateless. Mostly native born ones.

Saudi citizens have no right to change their government. Saud family members maintain total control.

Political parties and similar groups are forbidden. So is the right to organize politically. Collective bargaining rights are banned.

Discrimination against women excludes them from most aspects of public life. Government is rife with corruption.

Transparency is nonexistent. Internal and international human rights groups are banned.

Consensual same-sex conduct is punishable by death or flogging. Civil and human rights abuses are rampant.

Absolute monarchal rule is despotic, lawless and brutal. Police state ruthlessness writ large.

An October 2014 Amnesty International (AI) report is titled "Saudi Arabia's ACPRA: How the Kingdom Silences its Human Rights Activists."

It explains how Saudi officials harass, detain and abuse human rights workers. Going to "extreme lengths to hound critics into silent submission," said AI.

ACPRA is the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association. Founded in October 2009. Dissolved in March 2013.

On March 9, 2013, a so-called Saudi court sentenced two of its leaders to 15 years in prison. For "offenses that included sedition and giving inaccurate information to foreign media."

According to AI's Middle East and North Africa program deputy director Said Boumedouha:

"The Saudi Arabian authorities have consolidated their iron grip on power through a systematic and ruthless campaign of persecution against peaceful activists in a bid to suppress any criticism of the state in the aftermath of the 2011 Arab uprisings."

AI's report focuses on 11 ACPRA activists. Saudi authorities targeted its founding members.

Three currently serve 15-year prison terms. Two are incarcerated without charge. Three others awaited trial when AI's report was published.

Another three were tried. As of last fall they were free. All 11 were harassed. Most were detained short-term or imprisoned for months or years.

Charges besides the one listed above included one or more of the following:

"(B)reaking allegiance to and disobeying the ruler."

"(I)nciting public opinion against the authorities."

Equating peaceful demonstrators and dissenters with "terrorism." According to AI's report:

"ACPRA members spoke out repeatedly against the detention practices of the Saudi Arabian authorities and were especially critical of the Ministry of Interior and its feared security and intelligence branch, the General Directorate of Investigations (GDI) or al Mabahith, whose officers wield extensive powers and are able to arrest, detain, torture and abuse those they suspect with impunity."

"(V)irtually all the country's leading human rights activists are the imprisoned victims of an unrelenting official crackdown on criticism, dissent and other exercise of the right to freedom of expression."

"Saudi Arabia has long evaded effective international scrutiny for its dire human rights record."

It's a longstanding US ally. One rogue state supports another. Dirty business as usual continues. Expect no meaningful change ahead.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

NATO Commander Lied Claiming Possible Russian Invasion of Ukraine Coming

NATO Commander Lied Claiming Possible Russian Invasion of Ukraine Coming

by Stephen Lendman

How many previous times did Big Lies proliferate about hoards of Russians coming? Claimed by US officials. Other Western ones. 

Former NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Current NATO head Jens Stoltenberg.

The latest on January 22 from NATO commander US General Philip Breedlove. Earlier he suggested the same thing. More on what he said below. 

Last August, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki claimed a nonexistent "Russian-directed counteroffensive is likely underway in Donetsk and Luhansk."

"(W)e're also concerned by the Russian Government's unwillingness to tell the truth even as its soldiers are found 30 miles inside Ukraine," she said.

"Russia is sending its young men into Ukraine but...are not telling them where they’re going or telling their parents what they’re doing."

Asked why she said "likely" instead of saying a Russian invasion is underway, Psaki said she "decided to say likely."

"But why," she was asked? "(L)ikely implies…some uncertainty because there is a possibility that it's not."

Psaki ducked the question. Merely cited "a range of (unsubstantiated) reports." 

"Well, is it an invasion," she was asked? "(A)re we seeing, like, brigades or divisions crossing the borders into Ukraine?"

"I don't have any other details to read out for you at this point in time," she said.

No Russian invasion occurred. Nor was one planned. Psaki lied suggesting otherwise.

On Thursday, she was asked about illegitimate oligarch Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko claiming 9,000 Russian troops, tanks and heavy equipment in Ukraine.

On the one hand, she claimed no "confirmation of the figures." On the other, she lied accusing self-defense forces of "increase(d) violence."

"(I)ncluding renewed attacks…on the Donetsk airport (and) seizures of more territory."

"We've also seen reports that two tactical battalions - Russian tactical (ones) - Russia has moved two tactical battalions into Ukraine."

Admitting no "independent (corroborating) confirmation" exists.

At the same time "confirming…Russia(n) tanks, armored vehicles, trucks, artillery pieces, and other military equipment…deploy(ed) (to) sites near the Russia-Ukraine border…"

"(S)taging points before transporting military equipment to pro-Russian separatists," she claimed.

On the one hand, saying "(t)hat is something we're seeing." On the other, admitting no confirmation.

RT International reported its Washington correspondent Gayane Chichakyan's inability to get Psaki to give "straight response(s)" to her questions.

Ignoring Kiev high crimes against peace. Irresponsibly blaming them on Russia. Chichakyan saying "the US always has something to say about Russia, but never about what the Ukrainian government is doing."

Throughout months of US planned, directed and instigated conflict in Ukraine, Washington consistently blames Russia for its own high crimes.

"(A)voiding questions," said Chichakyan. Refusing to acknowledge Kiev using heavy artillery in Donbas. Including against residential neighborhoods.

Calling naked Kiev aggression its "absolute right to defend itself." When pressed to answer Chickakyan's questions, Psaki responded saying "I think I'll leave it at what I said."

Including the Big Lie about Russia "illegally interven(ing) in Ukraine." Despite no evidence whatever suggesting it. Plenty proving otherwise. 

Previous articles explained how Vladimir Putin, Sergey Lavrov and other Russian officials continue going all out for peaceful conflict resolution.

Impossible with Washington arming, funding and directing its puppet Kiev government to wage war on Donbas without mercy.

Including against defenseless civilians. Murdering them in cold blood.

Kiev state-sponsored murder in Donetsk the latest example. Attacking a Leninsky district bus stop. 

With multiple minivan-launched mortar strikes. Killing around a dozen civilians. Mostly women. Injuring many others. 

Brazen state terrorism. Kiev wrongfully blaming the incident on Donbas freedom fighters.

Psaki suggesting it by claiming "an increase in separatist violence…"

Ukraine is a hotbed of fascist extremism. Illegitimate US-installed putschists run things.

Democracy is pure fantasy. Human and civil rights nonexistent. 
Premeditated aggression without mercy continues against Donbas freedom fighters refusing to accept fascist rule.

Last Friday, State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke claimed otherwise. Repeating one Big Lie after another. 

Saying Ukraine "has come an enormous distance (over the past year) to meet its people’s aspirations."

Its "current government remains committed to advancing important reforms, despite ongoing violence in eastern Ukraine."

Ugnoring US-sponsored and directed aggression on Donbas. Claimed illegitimate farcical presidential and parliamentary elections were "free and fair."

Said Kiev's regime controlled judiciary is independent. Suggested anti-corruption efforts are working.

Ukraine arguably is Europe's most corrupt country. Worse than ever now under fascist rule.

"(W)e congratulate the people of Ukraine on how far they have come in such a short time," said Rathke.

"And we continue to stand with them as they press forward on critical reforms."

Conditions in Ukraine are polar opposite Rathke's description. State terror is official policy. Fascist regimes operate this way.

Don't expect Washington to explain. Or other Western governments. Or supportive MSM scoundrels. Regurgitating official Big Lies like gospel.

The New York Times describing Kiev's mortar attack on a civilian Donetsk bus as an "early morning explosion show(ing) the bus…with its tires flattened, its sides punched in, filled with shards of concrete and stone and all of its windows either shattered or pocked with holes."

Citing "conflicting reports" about what happened. Despite clear evidence of Kiev culpability. 

Sergey Lavrov correctly accused its "party of war" of committing "a crime against humanity, a rude provocation aimed at undermining the efforts on a peace settlement."

The Times quoted Poroshenko turning truth on its head. Saying "(i)f the enemy does not want to abide by the cease-fire, if the enemy doesn't want to stop the suffering of innocent people in Ukrainian villages and towns, we will give it to them in the teeth."

General Breedlove earlier lied about Russian intervention in Ukraine. On January 22, Pentagon controlled Stars and Stripes headlined "Threat of new Russian incursion as violence flares in Ukraine."

Citing Breedlove saying Russian forces are building up their presence on Ukraine's border.

"What we do see is that the Russian-backed forces have renewed capability now to bring pressure on the Ukrainian forces, and have in several places moved the line of contact to the west. And this is concerning," said Breedlove.

He claimed a repeat of two previous nonexistent Russian incursions, adding:

"We are beginning to see the signatures of air defense systems and electronic warfare systems that have accompanied past Russian troop movements into Ukraine, but we are unable at this moment to confirm any specific number of additional Russian troops inside eastern Ukraine."

US Army European commander Lt. General Ben Hodges lied claiming "irrefutable" evidence showing Donbas self-defense forces getting "direct support from Russia."

No evidence whatever proves it. None exists. Including irresponsible NATO/Poroshenko claims about Russia invading Ukraine.

What satellite images would clearly show if true. None exist.

Igor Kolomoisky is an Israeli/Ukrainian billionaire-appointed Dnipropetrovsk Oblast governor.

Nicknamed Benya. Living in Switzerland. Infamous for using paramilitaries to enforce hostile takeovers of companies he covets.

Forbes magazine earlier said he sent "hired rowdies armed with baseball bats, iron bars, gas and rubber bullet pistols and chainsaws" to forcibly take over a Kremenchuk steel plant in 2006.

He uses "a mix of phony court orders (often involving corrupt judges and/or registrars) and strong-arm tactics" to replace board directors of companies he invests in.

Criticized by a judge in a London court case for seeking "to take control of a company at gunpoint in Ukraine."

Putin once called him "a unique crook." Russia wants him put on Interpol's wanted list.

On July 2, 2014, a Russian district court authorized his arrest in absentia. For "organizing the killing of civilians."

On January 22, Fort Russ headlined "Kolomoisky is preparing a massive private army for a coup in Kiev."

"(B)ehind the scenes of Ukrainian theater, namely in Dnepropetrovsk, a powerful military formation is in the final stages of preparation."  

"It consists of foreign military battalions, and has a strong skeleton from NATO specialists." 

"Dnepropetrovsk needed time to prepare, and a good smoke screen."

"We observe the highest activity at all the areas of military-political field of Ukraine, all except for Dnepropetrovsk." 

"It is hot in Donbass, Kiev, Kharkov, Odessa. Even Western Ukraine is heating up. Only Dnepropetrovsk is quiet."

"(A)s soon as Dnepropetrovsk ripens it will capture the power in Verkhovnaya Rada (Ukraine's parliament) along with the right to institute a martial law."

Fort Russ reports a "new phase of Ukrainian crisis" unfolding…(A) destruction of Ukraine" emanating from Dnepropetrovsk. 

"Everything is almost ready there." Are Washington's dirty hands involved? 

Does it want Kolomoisky replacing Pororshenko? For sure it's displeased with Donbas freedom fighters consistently routing Kiev's military.

A guerrilla force defeating its army. Do US officials think Kolomoisky's reputation for ruthlessness can change things?

Forthcoming articles will discuss future events as they unfold. The battle for Ukraine's soul very much continues.

A Final Comment

On Wednesday, US Army European commander Lt. General Ben Hodges confirmed plans to deploy US combat troops to Ukraine.

For a "training operation," he said. To strengthen the "rule of law," he claimed. Code language for aiding Kiev in its aggression on Donbas.

Hodges called what's planned a "first step in further training." Likely mission creep involving US military forces in Kiev's dirty war.

It remains to be seen whether Washington intends so-called advisors operating along Donbas' front line.

Directly or indirectly participating in combat. A major provocation if happens. Perhaps triggering an undetermined Russian response.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.